In tissue engineering, the combination of multiple cell types and the employment of 3D cell culture is becoming the new norm, as it better resembles human physiology. “What makes B2B stand out among other multicellular 3D culture is the scale”, says Dr. Eric Farrell from the Erasmus University Medical Center. “In B2B the tissues have a physiologically relevant dimension (cm3), and thanks to that, we can reproduce gradients of oxygen and nutrient diffusion – which are ultimately responsible for important features in the spread of the disease. This makes the B2B device unique.”
According to Dr. Farrell, several aspects of the device might find applications outside the project’s scope; for example, the study of extravasation and migration of breast cancer cells might be applied to other types of cancers. “The innovative vascular component surely will find other applications as it is very relevant in human physiology. More difficult is the substitution of the bone chamber with another type of organ, not cancerogenic,” says Eric. “What we are learning about the bone is not easily transferable to other tissues. One would need to start again from scratch, study the generation process for the tissue as we are doing now for the ossicle.” says Prof. Farrell “But by assembling together all the components of the B2B device we are learning so many important lessons, especially at the interfaces.” Indeed, the experience gained with B2B will serve as a roadmap for similar devices, regardless of the tissues featured within.